Always has been a great wee club. Its great strength has been in the loyalty and persistence of its members and committee. Some firm friendships and connections have persisted thro' the years. "Maw" Burns didn't confine her talents to making stovies; she was a very popular landlady among the many talented guests who graced the club scene. Wee Danny Kyle had no other landlady on his many visits to Irvine. And Danny, in fact , was more or less the permanent "m.c" for something approaching twenty years at Irvine folk festival until his sad demise. Danny it was who gave the famous "Maggie Dumpling" her title. Mrs Margaret Galloway, you see, developed the habit of making a "clootie dumpling" to be shared among the entertainers at the closing festival concert each year, a fitting complement to Maw Burns' stovies. With Danny around, the title was an inevitable result.
The MacCalmans -Ian in particular--have become firm friends of the Burns family over the many years of visiting Irvine. Stephen Quigg, now a member of the McCalmans group, sang his first song as a gauche young laddie on the club stage in the old Eglinton Pub. You want to hear more of the Irvine folk club? Tam's advice re. contacting Joyce is good; but you can also try asking Malky McCormack, Tich Frier, Mike Whelan, Isla St Claire, Iain MacKintosh and a wheen mair as they say around Irvine. Past friends include the likes of Gus Russel, Cyril Tawney, and the inimitable Danny Kyle. Irvine Club could by no means claim a monopoly on the mighty talents of those mentioned [and many, many more], but I know from my own contact with most of them that they held--and probably STILL hold-- Irvine folk club in high esteem. Take Tam's advice--watch the guest list, visit the "Golf Hotel" on Kilwinning Road.